Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stocking up on Soda at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

It seems like it's becoming an autumn tradition to stop at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store in Jordan, MN. Yesterday, my boys and I kept that tradition alive:

My son (in the red) getting ready to run in.

Playing with candy.  LOTS of candy.

The "bacon" section.

Those are all puzzles lining the ceiling!  (And my nephew picking out candy on the lower-right.)

I always have to get a Whoopie Pie.  This time, we tried the Oatmeal  Creme, and it was the BEST EVER.

They have a major stock of soda.  As we were pulling in, their sign said they had 155 kinds of root beer:


This is all root beer!  (With a freezer of meat in the foreground.)

Grape sodas.

Pineapple, berry, grape, fruit punch, cherry, and orange soda sections, all sorted by flavor.

More of the root beer section with lots of fridges in the distance.

More sodas as far as the eye can see (with some large bottles of soda on the left).

My 3-year-old enjoying a sweet snack in the parking lot, and my 5-month-old looking on.

In the end, I walked out with a couple of treats, and 2 cases of assorted soda. One case is all root beer or sarsaparilla, and the other case is totally random:

My new stash!

Some sweet treats that made it home. (One Cow Tail didn't make it, and neither did the Whoopie Pie.)

Of my 48 new sodas to try, 19 are root beer (1 of those is technically "root beer float" and 3 are diet), 7 are sarsaparilla, and then there's a random assortment of black cherry, lemon lime, etc. But 6 are rather "interesting..."

L to R: Martian Poop, Dog Drool, Kittle Piddle, Rowdy Roddy Piper's Bubble Gum Soda,
Seal ya Later (there's no indication what flavor that is), and Judge Wapner's Root Beer.

I've actually enjoyed the 2 Avery's sodas that I've had in the past, so the Dog Drool and Kittle Piddle might be decent. I couldn't pass up anything with Rowdy Roddy Piper on it, but I don't expect that to be good. And the Judge Wapner root beer says "I sentence you to drink my root beer" on the bottle. Nice.

I'll be back with reviews of these as I try them. I have a root beer in the fridge to try later today. Click HERE to see more photos of inside and outside of Minnesota's Largest Candy Store from our trip last year (and a cute 2-year-old Henry in the pumpkins).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sprecher Grape Cola

I just put in a paving stone patio in my backyard, so I've been out our local Menards a lot. I recently saw they installed a fridge with individual bottles of 16 oz Sprecher for $1.28, which is a pretty good price for bottled soda.

Lots of Sprecher at Menards.

So I grabbed a Grape Sprecher to enjoy as I was loading bags of paver sand into my car in the lumberyard at Menards:

Sprecher Grape Cola

Brand: Sprecher Grape Cola

Origin: Glendale, WI.

Purchase Place: Menards, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Glucose Syrup and Raw Honey.

Review: This smelled great right away, but the flavor was just a little off. It had a sharpness to it that tasted extra artificial. It almost tasted like a liquid version of grape Bottlecaps (the candy). It wasn't good at first, then it started to taste a little better the farther I got into the bottle, but by the end I was a little sick of it. It had a nice sugary flavor, but too much of an artificial bite to make it that good.

Also, I wonder if the honey in here was a bad choice. I like honey as a sweetener, but it didn't seem to go well with the grape flavor. Just a thought.

Score: 5.5 out of 10.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pig Iron Cola

This label just drew me in:

Pig Iron Cola

… and the fact that this was brewed by a BBQ joint.

Brand: Pig Iron Cola.

Origin: Seattle, WA.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, Burnsville, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This was a strongly flavored cola. (What would you expect from something that had a pig with a bull ring in it's nose on the label?) It had a slight earthy/fruitiness to it as well. It reminded me a BIT of Jarritos or Double Cola. Good flavor, and a nice cola.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mom's Root Beer

This is made across the river in Minneapolis, and it donates a percentage to breast cancer research, so I was happy to try it.

Mom's Root Beer

Brand: Mom's Root Beer.

Origin: Minneapolis, MN.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This was weak and tasted "off." It wasn't good. The first sip tasted like water, and then it slowly starts to have a little root beer flavor. But it tastes a little unnatural (not that root beer is totally "natural") and chemical-like. Not great. Sorry Mom.

Score: 3.5 out of 10.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Review of my final 5 ciders

I just finished my final 5 hard ciders from my Total Wine stash:

Total Wine ciders!

Sonoma Apple Cider: The Hatchet ($2.99): This was one of the 3 most expensive ciders I purchased (of the 10 I picked up, 3 were $2.99), but it was NOT one of the 3 best. It was OK. It had a slightly dry bite to it, like a white wine. I don't want wine - I want a sweet cider. I didn't taste apple at all; it was just like wine. No thanks. Score: 4 out of 10.

Angry Orchard Hard Cider: Crisp Apple ($1.79): This had a super fresh and super crisp flavor. It tasted like farm-fresh apple cider, and hardly tasted alcoholic at all. Pretty tasty, but just a bit too "sharp." Score: 7 out of 10.

Redd's Strawberry Apple Ale ($1.49): This one surprised me a bit. I wasn't sure I'd like this being it was an Ale, but it was just the slightest bit "beery" (malty). The strawberry was very tart and strong. Each sip lead with a strawberry flavor, and it tasted a bit beer-like at the end. Not bad. Score: 7 out of 10.

Hornsby's Crisp Apple Cider ($1.49): This had a slightly berry aftertaste that was pretty good. There was another strange (slightly off) flavor in there as well, but it was subtle. Otherwise it was a sweet apple cider. Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Sonoma Pear Cider: The Pitchfork ($2.99): A little drier than I would have liked, but not too bad. It had a little strange aftertaste, but it had a decent pear flavor. Not my favorite, but I could see how some would like it. Score: 6 out of 10.

So I didn't have too many that were great in this 5. I liked my first 2 that I had back in August best. I'd like to head back shortly and get a few more ciders.  Click here of my review of the first 5 ciders.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kickapoo Joy Juice

This bottle/label/name was just too amazing to pass up:

Kickapoo Joy Juice

Brand: Kickapoo Joy Juice.

Origin: Atlanta, GA.

Purchase Place: Frattallones Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This was pretty weak. It was like watered-down, carbonated lemonade. It wouldn't be bad if it had more flavor, but it just didn't have enough of anything. OK lemony flavor, just too subtle.

Score: 4 out of 10.